Radio Presets On Old Cars

Hi guys. I was sitting watching The Fog (the 1980 version) the other night, and Adrienne Barbeau was on her way to the radio station (the lighthouse) in an old car. I don’t know the kind it was but it was a convertible and looked somewhat utilitarian if that matters at all. It showed a picture of her radio in her car and the preset buttons had letters on them. I BELIEVE they were LMKUU. Now it seems to me that in the olden days (back when even I was a kid) my dad’s car had letters on the radio preset buttons too.

Can anyone tell me what those letters mean (or if I have perhaps hallucinated this whole thing.) :wink:

From what I remember as a kid in the 1970s, in European cars, the preset buttons were marked for various bands.

L - longwave (very low frequency broadcast band not used in North America)
M - mediumwave (AM in North America)
U - either shortwave or FM; I can’t remember which.

They also doubled as band selection buttons. Instead of a LW/MW/FM or AM/FM switch, the preset tuned the radio to a specific station in a specific band.

Was it a German radio?


Must have been - it looked foreign anyway.

Thanks so much!!

We’re watching The Fog now, and the same question occurred to me. Googling ‘lmkuu’ ‘radio’, this thread was the top hit. :slight_smile:

And now I know.

Car might have been a Borgward. They were almost common here in the late 1960s and it would have been an easy choice for a 1980 movie’s “old, strange car.”

1973 VW Thing.

I once had a '62 VW with a standard Blaupunkt radio, that had a switch from MW to LW. Medium wave is the USA standard broadcast, and Long Wave is used in a few European stations